Thursday, August 22, 2013

Capture your lecture, screen and more with Camtasia Relay

What is Camtasia Relay?

Camtasia Relay is an easy-to-use lecture capture tool, which allows you to capture your computer screen, audio and web camera video with the click of a button. One of the unique features that puts Camtasia Relay above other screen capture tools is that it allows you or your administration to automate the workflow; through the creation of profiles, instructors are able to create videos and automatically publish them to specific areas in iTunesU, YouTube, and other file destinations.

Why Use Camtasia Relay? 

For your students: 

  • Video resources allow students to review course content as many times as they need and at any time in the day 
  • Videos make it easy for students who were absent to review important material 

For you: 

  • Videos can help you “flip” your course 
  • At least for us at Harper College, you can use Camtasia Relay to record from the comfort of your home. You simply need to be on campus to upload your videos. Other colleges may have set up their permissions differently, but the infrastructure is there to allow at-home recording. 

What equipment do you need to record with Camtasia Relay? 

  • To record your screen and sound, you simply need your computer and a sound device (microphone, headset or built-in microphone). 
  •  To record your screen, sound and video, you need you computer, a sound device and webcam. What do you need in order to publish to iTunesU from Camtasia Relay? 
  • For Harper instructors, you simply need to be on campus with access to the internet. Recording can take place at home; just bring your laptop to campus, connect to the campus wifi, and your videos will automatically upload. Again, other colleges may set up their permissions differently, but the infrastructure is there to support this and other workflows.   

Best Practices for creating video resources: Shorter is better. 

Try to stay away from videos that are longer than 10 minutes, and preferably, try to keep your videos between 2 – 5 minutes long. Why, you ask?

  • The download time for five 5-minute videos is exponentially faster than the download time for one 25-minute video 
  • Your students may not have the bandwidth to download large files, and the longer the video, the larger the file. Since we strive to democratize learning, we want to make sure that all our students have the ability to access our video resources. 
  • Students are able to focus better on five 5-minute videos than one 25-minute video. 
  • Shorter videos with titles to indicate the content of the video are especially helpful so that if students need to review them later, they can review the one or two sections they need. With a 25 minute (or longer) video, it is harder to find the right section to review since it is one long sequence with no chapter subdivisions.

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